What Causes Rabbits to Change Color

What Causes Rabbits to Change Color

Rabbits are soft, little, and best as a pet in every home. These shy, gentle animals are just pure pleasure to hold and cuddle. People who have bunnies as pets sometime become fretted when they recognize that their rabbit’s fur is changing its color. Most people believe that their bunny is ill or is experiencing some medical condition. But the color change in bunny’s fur is quite a natural process called molting.

Why Do Rabbits Change Color

A little introduction to bunnies
Earlier rabbits were thought to come from the rodent family. But current research have found that bunnies are in fact lagomorphs, i.e. plant consuming mammals who have completely furred feets and two pairs of upper incisors.

Bunnies shed their fur quite often and when the fur regrows back it is soft, clean and there might be slight or complete modification in color. Bunnies that are residing in their natural environment rather of being a pet at a household frequently alters color inning accordance with season. The altered color of their fur functions as camouflage and saves them from predators.

Molting in rabbits
Molting in rabbits is the process of losing the fur coat so that a new coat grows back in its location. Molting in rabbits occurs routinely at numerous stages in its life. Molting in rabbits varies according to their type and sometimes they can even differ for 2 bunnies of the exact same type, depending upon the conditions they are kept at home (for example, chillier or warmer temperatures). Generally the duration of molting lasts from 2 weeks to 6 weeks.

When your rabbit is a baby of 4 — 5 months age it will shed its baby fur coat and grow an immediate coat. Then it will grow an adult fur coat and after that you can really see the change in color whenever they molt.

Usually a bunny sheds its fur at a period of every 3 months. Light molts may happen between that duration however they are hardly visible. Heavy molt occurs when the bunnies molts seasonally. At the end of the winter and at the end of the summer season you will discover heavy molting.

Why do rabbits molt?

Bunnies molt due to two primary reasons:

  • Molting while maturing: The fur color of bunnies alter every time they molt as they mature. This is a natural process.
  • Molting due to seasonal modification: When a rabbit molts with every modification in season, their fur color changes. They molt at every season change to regulate their body temperature.

How do bunnies molt?

In a rabbit, molting generally begins from the head. Then it advances down the neck and the back. Then the molting happens in stomach area. For some rabbits, the molting process is uniform throughout the body as molting spots appear throughout their bodies without any unique pattern. In some rabbits naked skins are exposed when the fur from that area is shed completely during molting.

This short article is merely informative, it does not have the authority to recommend any veterinary treatments or create a medical diagnosis. We invite you to take your family pet to a vet if it has any kind of condition or pain.

Also read: Why Rabbits Have Red Eyes?

Do Rabbits Change Color in the Winter?

Domestic rabbits were specifically bred to be house rabbits. therefore they lost the gene that controls when their coat color modifications during the domestication procedure.

On domestic bunnies, there are some breeds that do alter color, however they generally change color with age and not with the season. For instance, Champagne D’ Argents are black when they are born and turn grey as they grow older. Some other domestic bunnies are impacted by the temperature when they are born. Himalayans and Californians for instance, will turn darker the cooler it is when they are born. If the bunny is left on a cold wire floor, the grid patern of the wire can sometimes be seen on the rabbit.

D. Roberts (Junior Expert)
Pet Health
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  1. Reyus Mammadli

    My Blue is a small rex. He’s gray with two to three little white spots on his back end all year around. In the winter season, he will get a couple of more white spots around his back end, but they slowly go out as he sheds into his summer coat.

    My Bombur is a Netherland dwarf. He’s otter colored. In the summertime, his fur is much shorter and dark brown with tan pointers. In the winter season, his fur is longer and black with tan pointers.

    My Badger is a Netherland dwarf/dutch mix. In summer, he is a white and tan/dark brown tort. In winter, he is a white and tan/black tort.

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  2. Reyus Mammadli

    I breed Californian rabbits. These are, in the base, white rabbits, but with black paws, a tail and ears and a muzzle. But with the onset of hot days, they completely lose their black color and look completely white. In my locality it lasts for 3-4 months. Then, with the onset of coolness, the black shade returns.

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  3. Paul S.

    I have 4 year lived a grey rabbit. Color it did not change. I just now learned that a rabbit can change color.

    Reply